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Monday, August 31, 2015

Caterpillars of NBNC (part 5)

As we prepare to turn the calendar page to September, the persisting heat reminds us that summer isn't over yet! September turns out to be a fantastic month for finding caterpillars. Below are some caterpillars to keep an eye out for this time of year:

The Yellow-shouldered Slug caterpillar is so strange, it would be easy to confuse it for some other sort of insect. While this species can blend quite well, others, like the Spiny Oak Slug, are vibrantly colored. September is one of the best months to search for these fascinating creatures!

Any remaining Mourning Cloak caterpillars will soon be spinning a chrysalises. As we approach the end of the month, adults will be far more common than caterpillars as this species overwinters as an adult butterfly.

Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillars are often easier to find than many other caterpillar species. Their long hairs are distasteful to predators, and hence they often feed out in the open.

This Virginia Creeper Sphinx, found last August near the NBNC Community Garden, fell victim to parasitic wasps. The white ovals on the caterpillar's back are the cocoons, out of which the wasps will soon hatch.

The Rusty Tussock Moth is native to Europe, but is now widespread in North America. Adult females are wingless.

See previous "Caterpillars of NBNC" posts: